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  • Industrial use of aerospace technology

    Paper ID



    • James E. Burnett


    Lewis Research Center






    The paper discusses the special Technology Utilization briefing conferences as one very productive means of stimulating technology transfer. Several examples of technology transfer are reviewed. Studies covering the impact of such transfer are reported. Early in its program the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established efforts for the transfer of technology. Management recognized that NASA and its contractors would necessarily develop very large amounts of new technology, and it was beheved that the technology would have broad application outside the aerospace field. Also, the Space Act of 1958 which estabhshed NASA requires that NASA provide wide dissemination of the new knowledge resulting from its various activities. At the time, this belief that aerospace technology would have many other uses was not universally accepted. A considerable skepticism was expressed by many. In addition, there was very little or no established technical communication between the aerospace and non-aerospace communities. As a consequence of these things, NASA found it necessary to establish nesessary communication links, to pursue efforts to explain and illustrate the nature and diversity of its technology, to make the technology fully available, and to use various mechanisms to encourage technology transfer. All of these activities have been conducted as a part of the NASA Technology Utilization (T.U.) Program. Lewis Research Center (Lewis), located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a major field center of NASA with about 3300 employees. Lewis is résponsible for advanced research and development in propulsion and power generation, and is program manager for the Centaur high energy launch vehicle. Lewis, as a part of NASA, has participated strongly in the T.U. program. Partly as a result of the NASA T.U. Program, the original skepticism has been largely overcome. It is now widely recognized that aerospace-related new technology does have many valuable non-aerospace uses. A few selected examples of technology transfer are given below. They are only representative of several hundreds of documented transfers which have served to demonstrate widespread industrial use of aerospace-related new technology.